I’ve had an exceptionally awesome childhood. My fondest memories were as a child growing up in the 70’s in the City Summer streets. A time when kids actually came outside and played with each other. What I did not realize was that the majority of our diets were Twinkies, Ring Dings, chips, soda, juice and penny candy. I loved fruits, but those vegetables were usually left on the plate with closing statements such as “I’m full”, or “Ooops, did my plate mysteriously flip over on the floor?” Our Summer days began and ended running in the streets and walking miles to local stores. We didn’t know, nor care, about our bad eating habits until it crept into our adult lives.
I’ve always had a passion for fitness. I joined local gyms and was mostly found there by friends approximately five times a week. I even worked at a gym in my 20’s and was studying to be a personal trainer. I worked out hard and would frequently reward myself with processed combo meals because it was directly across the street from the gym. My thoughts: I worked out hard today and I deserve it. The meal was also followed by my addiction to menthol cigarettes. Yes! Cigarettes (at the time, the cost of a pack was $3.85). At least a pack a day. I was looking great on the outside, and never considered that I was actually self-sabotaging my own body. I was in my early 20’s and lived that lifestyle as a fit and trim, cigarette-smoking, processed-food-eating fitness freak. Sort of an oxymoron “love/hate” kind of thinking.
At the age of 29, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. You would have thought that I would have changed my life then, right? But, I even continued the smoking! Thoughts: how can I get cancer from smoking if I already have it? During the year of chemotherapy, radiation, and feelings of loneliness – I encountered real stress for the first time. The sickness ran an exhausting toll on my body and mental state. It took control of my body’s outward appearance. That depressed me; which led to stressful binge-eating on that emotional roller coaster “ride to nowhere.” My mood also changed to constant negative thinking and sadness. A year later, I returned to work physically healthy and strong but that negative mental habit continued. It continued through post-partum depression. It continued through a past suicide attempt as a teen, through real-life stress, hysterectomy, through 2nd cancer scare – the cycle remained the same. I felt miserable!
Until: June 2017.
I searched for another gym to help alleviate daily stresses of life. I found that love in CKO. A place to go any day of the week and on any time slot. I’ve found myself running to the gym just to punch something! I mean literally punch the bag in the face, body and head without any fear of being arrested for actual assault. A place where I can cry my eyes out and it goes undetected, because my tears were camouflaged in my sweat. A place to go where I can scream to the top of my lungs to get that stress feeling out and no one even noticed. Most of us share that same story: An outlet, a place to go for peace, comfort and support.
My lifestyle became better, but I continued to be labeled as a pre-diabetic because of my constant choices. I quit smoking almost 20 years prior, so I was progressing.
In December 2018, my doctor indicated that I was no longer pre-diabetic! I carried that label for 5 years and always felt non-chalant about it, like it wasn’t a big deal for me to be borderline. It was the moment when I felt normal again. From that moment; I vowed to take control of my health for myself and my 8 year old son (who became my biggest support system). I had thoughts of how unfair it would be if I died and left him here alone. The thought of him finding out as an adult that his mom was selfish and could have prevented it all changed my thoughts permanently. I was determined to change my entire life and reverse the cycle of bad-mood eating, and stressful habits.
I’ve always seen the clients from previous CKO Transformation Shows, but I honestly never thought I could do it. I assumed that CKO wanted more younger looking, more firmer “snap back into place” bodies. Instead, I’ve found that they wanted the better “YOU” body. When I received the golden seal letter; I knew that I was in the place I was supposed to be in. A true support group for me had been formed.
I not only lost 40lbs in three months, but I was also taught how to rest, spend time with friends and family, balance life, balance the mind, and how to maintain a proper diet. I was reminded that there is never an end to this balance like others might think. It’s a true lifestyle.
On April 13th, my 49th birthday, I crossed the CKO Transformation Show stage at Mohegan Sun, with a new way of thinking. Yes, my physical appearance changed drastically, but so has my mindset. I am more at peace, handle stress better, take time to relax, love more and give more. CKO is my second home and it is filled with the most supportive “Perfectly Imperfect” people that you could ever meet. They will encourage and inspire you to do more and become better than you could have ever imagined.
Change happens from within. Once you change that mind, you can conquer anything.
– Kim, proud member of CKO Kickboxing in Woodbridge, New Jersey